Four confirmed cases of chikungunya virus were recently been diagnosed in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France as of Aug. 23, 2017 with one probable and eight suspected cases, according to a recent announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to WHO, the date of onset of symptoms of the first confirmed case appeared on Aug. 2. Additionally, all four confirmed and one probable case had symptoms onset during a period lasting from Aug. 2 to Aug. 17.
Between the ages of 3 and 77, the 13 total patients so far are all inhabitants of the same district of the commune of Cannet des Maures in Var department.
The virus was previously confirmed in the same area in 2010 while another small outbreak appeared in the Montpellier area in 2014.
An emerging disease in southern Europe due to the rise of Aedes albopictus-species mosquitoes in the region, the recent outbreak was considered unexpected by public health authorities.
In its outbreak assessment, WHO stated that there was a potential risk for international spread due to Aedes albopictus being established throughout the Mediterranean basin and that the currently-affected area has a high tourist population in summer months.
To address the outbreak, French public health authorities are undertaking a number of vector controls including blood testing of suspected cases and risk communication as coordinated by the regional health agency.
WHO noted that asymptomatic infection with the virus can go undetected, therefore increasing the risk for spread.